They've been listening to the wrong doctors!
The malaise that afflicts the modern Catholic Church could easily have been prevented had those responsible followed the fail-safe prescriptions of the Holy Doctors of the Church.
Can we all see the 'fruits' of Assisi with the violence that erupted during Holy Week or with the growing scandals of perversion of some in the clergy and the equally scandalous cover-ups by the bishops? From every corner there are cries for healing and there is no one who can cure the ills that have visited this world today. Oh, the psychiatrists have tried to pigeon-hole and analyze the problems, medical doctors have tried to diagnose the problems, but, in truth, no one has a clue. That is because everyone is listening to the wrong doctors!
So who are the right doctors, you ask? There are thirty-three of them. No, don't check your HMO, or even the Mayo Clinic for them. You won't find them there. And, sadly, you won't find them in your parish unless your pastor is a Traditional and very orthodox Roman Catholic; nor will you find them among many in Rome today. You see the thirty-three doctors I'm referring to are the official Doctors of the Church.
They are, in chronological order:
- 1. Saint Athanasius - Born in 297, died in 373.
- 2. Saint Ephrem - Born 306, died in 373.
- 3. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem - Born 315, died in 386.
- 4. Saint Hilary of Poitiers - Born 315, died in 368.
- 5. Saint Gregory Nazianzen - Born 329, died in 389.
- 6. Saint Basil - Born 329, died in 379.
- 7. Saint Ambrose - Born in 340, died in 420.
- 8. Saint Jerome - Born in 342, died in 420.
- 9. Saint John Chrysostom - Born in 347, died in 407.
- 10. Saint Augustine - Born in 354, died in 430.
- 11. Saint Cyril of Alexandria - Born in 376, died in 444.
- 12. Saint Leo the Great - Born in 400, died in 461.
- 13. Saint Peter Chrysologus - Born in 406, died in 450.
- 14. Saint Gregory the Great - Born in 540, died in 606.
- 15. Saint Isidore of Seville - Born in 560, died in 636.
- 16. Saint Bede the Venerable - Born in 673, died in 735.
- 17. Saint John Damascene - Born in 676, died in 749.
- 18. Saint Peter Damian - Born in 1007, died in 1072.
- 19. Saint Anselm - Born in 1033, died in 1109.
- 20. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux - Born in 1090, died in 1153.
- 21. Saint Anthony of Padua - Born in 1195, died in 1231.
- 22. Saint Albert the Great - Born in 1206, died in 1280.
- 23. Saint Bonaventure - Born in 1221, died in 1274.
- 24. Saint Thomas Aquinas - Born in 1225, died in 1274.
- 25. Saint Catherine of Siena - Born in 1347, died in 1380.
- 26. Saint Teresa of Avila - Born in 1515, died in 1582.
- 27. Saint Peter Canisius - Born in 1521, died in 1621.
- 28. Saint Robert Bellarmine - Born in 1542, died in 1621.
- 29. Saint John of the Cross - Born in 1542, died in 1591.
- 30. Saint Lawrence of Brindisi - Born in 1559, died in 1619.
- 31. Saint Francis de Sales - Born in 1567, died in 1622.
- 32. Saint Alphonsus Liguori - Born in 1696, died in 1787.
- 33. Saint Therese of Lisieux - Born in 1873, died in 1897.
In today's issue we begin profiling each of these esteemed Doctors of the Church in each Monday issue. We begin, of course, with the first Doctor and one of the greatest Saint Athanasius, considered the "Apostle of Tradition" or the "Father of Orthodoxy." As I pointed out in last week's commentary,
we all know St. Athanasius' famous quote, "The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." That was in the fourth century. He was, of course, referring to the Arian bishops. Consider the numbers then and the numbers today and we need to pray for today's prelates more than ever. We have quantity today, definitely not quality. St. Athanasius also said: "You have the bishops against you, that proves that they are all against the Church" and "if the world goes against the truth, then Athanasius goes against the world." We all need to be Athanasiuses and stand against the world, even if that includes present day prelates and clerics who have embraced the errors of the world. We should not fear. Christ's final agony should remind us we will have much to suffer, but so what! St. Athanasius assured us, "God has promised to be like a wall of fire round those who rightly believe in Him" and, in referring to the Arian usurpers which today we can equate to the post-conciliar usurpers,
"They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: What is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle - the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?"
It is an interesting question, one he answered shortly: "Even if Catholics who remain faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ."
Consider also the great Saint Augustine, one of the greatest Doctors of the Church, who said "Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it, and right is right even if nobody is doing it."
Keep in mind, also, what two other great Saints and Doctors of the Church advised. Saint Catherine of Siena said directly to Pope Gregory IX in 1376, "Alas, Most Holy Father! At times obedience to you leads to eternal damnation." Pretty strong words, but true. Especially in these times when the bishops are in such a state of perplexion and confusion.
Last week Alan Keyes on his MSNBC program "Making Sense" interviewed Archbishop John P. Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Now mind you, he is an American prelate, very much in-the-know in Rome. After all, he is in charge of media relations regarding the Church worldwide. Honest to God, he didn't seem to have a clue. Though Keyes doesn't really understand the root problem either, at least he expressed outrage that nothing had been done to this point. The archbishop looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Folks, Rome hasn't got a clue how to solve this mushrooming sodomy scandal that is rocking the post-conciliar church.
Newsmax commentator, Diane Alden, herself a Catholic, nailed the problem that Keyes, Foley and so many others fail to see. She wrote in her commentary "An American Catholic at Easter - Part I" under the subtitle "Reflections of an American Catholic" on March 26th:
"By no means do I approve of what the pedophile priests have done to children. It is an abomination. Nor do the American bishops and cardinals who have overseen this horror deserve a pass.
What is worse, however, is their failure to acknowledge that this acceptance and denial of pedophilia began when the Catholic Church in America allowed itself to be sucked into the moral relativism of the '60s. On many issues that is exactly what happened.
Many in the Church grasped Vatican II (1962) as an opportunity to turn the church into a trendy adjunct of the '60s counterculture revolution. At that time serious sin went out the window.
Thus, after a few short years, trendy clerics and theologians and administrators distanced themselves from notions of what traditional Catholics call "mortal sin." At least in the minds of the liberal theologians and politicizers of Catholic doctrine, there was almost no accountability for one's actions, as everything seemed to have a psychological rather than a spiritual aspect.
No sin, no consequences. Everything, all our actions, were not of our doing.
Indeed, at that time much of Catholicism was dumped in favor of the social gospel. The hard stuff the Founder demands was out or ignored. Selective interpretation of Christ's words erred in favor of His forgiving and loving side.
Meanwhile, many Catholics and hierarchy, along with progressive theologians, forgot the more difficult and uncompromising demands He made on humanity. They wanted to ignore His recognition of evil, punishment, justice and sin as well as the eventual sorting out of evil from good.
In the '60s and '70s, the American Catholic Church tended toward the idea that Christ was all about "love" and nothing about casting into the darkness those who do not obey God's laws. It was okay to sin as long as you "loved" everyone and meant well.
The road to hell was no longer paved with good intentions, because no one was sure hell really existed. God help anyone who made value judgments on moral issues or called certain behaviors sinful or evil.
Total tolerance of all kinds of things became more important than not sinning, even though many of these attitudes and behaviors were in defiance of what the Catholic Church officially taught.
In the '60s especially, the Catholic Church began to accept as priests and nuns many men and women who were not so much the followers of Christ as they were the likely intellectual descendants and proponents of Hegel, Marx, Freud, Jung, Maslow, Rogers and Antonio Gramsci.
It is because of that fact that the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. could justify sending pedophile priests to the shrink as they attempted to find out "why" those men did foul deeds to young boys.
Rather than throw them out of the priesthood or hand them over to the authorities, in the best tradition of Oprah Winfrey many of the cardinals and bishops chose to "understand" them or cure them and hide the scandal. This in spite of the knowledge that understanding and forgiveness did not stop, cure or prevent the horrors committed by pedophile clerics.
While pedophilia is statistically no more likely among homosexuals than heterosexuals, gay men are often particularly attracted to boys in their teens, just as perverted heterosexual men tend to prey on teenage girls.
But rather than use some commonsense judgmentalism, the Catholic bishops, certain cardinals, and their resident shrinks and thinkers sought to find the "root causes" of a great immorality that we used to call "mortal sin."
Mortal sin had been replaced by psychological pathology. That was one of the Church's big mistakes. It would have been better off to leave pedophilia and other "conditions" in the realm of sin and get rid of the perverts.
In the meantime, the hierarchy in America forgot that their MAJOR responsibility was to the flock and not to the perverted shepherds. But it became a game of hide-and-seek and cover-up and dogged refusal to face reality."
The doctors the leaders of the post-conciliar church turned to were not any of the thirty-three listed above, but rather to Jung and that group as the hierarchy put so much weight in psychiatrists to tell them who should be priests and who shouldn't. In other words, put the inmates in charge of the asylum, by opening the floodgates to those sympathetic to perversion and sodomy. That's what the psych industry has done and all the doctors have gone right along with it. To add salt in the wounds, medical doctors, those who had taken the sacred Hippocratic Oath, betrayed their very vow of doing all in their power to uphold life by caving to the interests of the pro-abortion lobbyists. All for the almighty dollar! The lust for which is the root of all evil. Through the medical profession's cooperation and the absence of moral indignation on the part of the post-conciliar church the culture of death was ushered in the front door and with it every perversion known and unknown to man. And now we reap what the experts have sown.
If you have had a sickening feeling in your gut over all the priest-bashing and media buzz - that only diminishes when terrorism takes top billing - then you'll realize the real terrorism has taken place within the post-conciliar church for the Modernists have attacked the True Faith and tried to lay waste to the Truths and Traditions over the past 40 years. There is only one cure and it is not in soft-pedaling the problem; it is not in slapping the bishops and cardinals on the hand and letting them police themselves; it is not in making blanket apologies that reek with insincerity since they are only offered when the heat is on, and they are not in giving lip service to "new directives and guidelines" that, in truth, merely keep everything status quo as the pawns are moved on the great chess board of deception while the cancer only festers more.
The answer lies in cleaning house thoroughly. Why? Because to quote a respected Doctor of the Church Saint Basil, "The whole Church is in dissolution." Indeed, though he was addressing the heresy of Arianism that had so thoroughly permeated the Church in the 4th century, his words take even more meaning considering the condition of the post-conciliar church today. St. Basil's words are indented in bold quotes below:
"The danger is not confined to one Church...This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of Godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion;"
Indeed, the faithful were thrown into a state of total bewilderment when in the mid-to-late sixties altars were ripped apart, communion rails dismantled, Latin abandoned, the priest turned around, nuns literally shed their good habits, followed by a dearth of vocations that caused more schools and seminaries to be closed all in the spirit of "consolidation. Soon after the statues were removed, the holy tabernacles shoved to the side and replaced by a "place" for man to sit along with altar girls, which only resulted in the feminists flooding the sanctuaries, the great majority demanding they be given a voice. The confusion created the false concept that the Church Christ founded was a democracy. The doctrines of Godliness were indeed overturned through the clever, insidious ambiguity and wording of the Vatican II documents and those tomes that followed which only confused more. Yet the bishops said, 'not to worry,' and the people - in the gullible fashion the architects of the revolution knew they would be - continued to buy whatever they were told, which only made the auto-demolition that much easier. And where were the Doctors who counted? Forgotten!
"the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat is now openly proposed as a reward for impiety; so that he whose blasphemies are the more shocking, is more eligible for the oversight of the people."
The seminaries and chanceries were taken over by the unprincipled. Liberal, radical Modernists, so long suppressed by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII would have their day. John XXIII was their key, Vatican II their portal to enter and destroy. Slowly through the decades they rose to power - men like Walter Kasper, Roger Mahony, Karl Lehmann, Matthew Clark, Anthony O'Connell, Reginald Cawcutt, Joseph Bernardin, John McGann, Robert Lynch, Daniel Ryan and a slew of others too numerous to mention
who were in lockstep with the auto-demolition of the Church. In every diocese fifth-columnists within the clergy were set in place to assure in Masonic fashion that only those who played the game would be promoted whether that was in parishes, seminaries or monasteries. The results were devastating. Traditional, orthodox priests were exiled to the farthest regions of every diocese or assigned to someone who would make sure they were indoctrinated in the new order of things. Seminarians who expressed a love for Christ and the virtues were drummed out in favor of those who sought worldy goals. Yes the blasphemies are the more shocking and all because of the oversight of the people who were not vigilant. They never called on the Doctors of the Church.
"Priestly gravity has perished; there are none left to feed the Lord's flock with knowledge; ambition men are ever spending, in purposes of self-indulgence and bribery, possessions which they hold in trust for the poor. The accurate observation of the canons are no more; there is no restraint upon sin."
Sodomy spread like wild-fire. What once was so isolated, soon became the norm as the post-conciliar church conformed to the world instead of striving to convince the world to conform to Christ's teachings as conveyed by His Church. Thus tainted so, the post-conciliar church began to implode as doctrine was replaced by political correctness. Tolerance was promoted as the new creed. Didn't they realize the reaction from bad medicine? Evidently not, because they refused to consult the Doctors of the Church.
"Unbelievers laugh at what they see, and the weak are unsettled; faith is doubtful, ignorance is poured over their souls, because the adulterators of the word of wickedness imitate the truth."
It became a field day for Catholic-bashing in the media and in society as Catholics stumbled all over themselves to save face, to apologize for what saints died for, to placate false religions and secular interests. The problem was that the vast, vast majority hadn't a clue of what true Catholicism was and therefore, they made even bigger asses of themselves, like a bull in a china shop they misconstrued the tenets of the faith, shattering truths with assumptions and illogical conclusions, and the more they embarrassed themselves the more those in charge of the demolition encouraged their behavior. No matter what was said, there was always a rationalization for it and in every instance false teaching was posited as Church teaching, thus enabling devastating, abhorrent programs like sex education, acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, and tolerance toward false religions on an equal footing were spouted as truth. Indeed, the word of wickedness imitated the truth. And where was the truth during all this? The Doctors of the Church had it there all the time, it was ours for the asking.
"Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned;"
Ah yes, the conservatives or neo-Catholics say it will all turn out fine and we need to trust in God. Indeed they're right about that, but they forget our role as members of the Church Militant in the Communion of Saints. Everytime we allow abuses, allow blaspheming tongues to let loose whether that be in school, on the street, in the movies, on television, in the home, in the workplace or at Assisi, we are only helping to inflict more pain in the Mystical Body of Christ. Neo-Catholics blithely attend profane "Novus Ordo" services, complain among themselves about the changes and abuses but stop in laying the blame where it belongs because of their myopic view of the papacy, so indoctrinated that the Pope and the ordinary magisterium of the Church cannot err, that they are infallible anytime they open their mouths. Aided by this totally false assumption, conservative Catholics have only aided and abetted the auto-demolition. Yet, like Pontius Pilate they wash their hands, like Judas Iscariot they say, "It is not I, Lord."
They, too, go it alone, refusing to call on the Doctors of old, but rather depend on the new doctors, men who have crowned themselves as experts in the Curia - men like Cardinal Walter Kasper. Here is a man the Pope personally placed in a high-profile position of authority within the Vatican and a man who espouses heresy left and right such as his statement to Catholic News Service and reprinted in the March issue of INSIDE THE VATICAN affirms. Regarding the setback of not being able to visit Moscow, Kasper said the following, I'm not kidding: "It's a serious damage, I think, but it's not for eternity. I think it will change again, because this is a big misunderstanding of the Moscow Patriarchate. We don't want to make proselytism, we want to care for our Catholic people in Russia."
There you have it. We are now mere caretakers. No longer are we to follow Our Lord's undeniable, infallible command in Mark 16: 15-16, to "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be condemned." Jesus couldn't make it clearer, but the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity - an organization teeming with what Mario Derksen appropriately labeled "razzmatazz, bafflegab, and skimble-skamble" - says we no longer need to preach to every creature, only those who already are baptized. Afraid not! The Apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 1: 8-10, how we should take what Modern Rome is dishing out today, "I wonder that you are so soon removed, from Him Who called you to the grace of Christ, to another gospel: which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you beside that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." For emphasis, Paul even repeated it in the next two verses, "As we said before, so I say now again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I did yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Therein is proof that those in Rome today are not the "servants of Christ" for they preach anathema. We have no duty to follow false teachers of whom Christ warned in Matthew 7: 15, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." There was an editorial cartoon I glimpsed last week that said "What is worse than a wolf in sheep's clothing? A wolf in shepherd's clothing." Though it stung to see the Church berated, the political cartoonist was right on.
"those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship, as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitidue with groans and tears to the Lord in Heaven."
As in the days of the Arian heresy, faithful Catholics, those clinging to the Truths and Traditions flee the New Order gymnasiums and mausoleums with haste, seeking the underground church in the manner as those in the catacombs. Like the early Christians they are targeted for persecution merely because they clamor for a return to the Tried and True Tridentine Mass, the very same one the Council Fathers of Trent and Pope Saint Pius V said "must be said in perpetuity." Any changes in the holy canons of the Mass of All Ages would "incur the wrath of Almighty God and the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul." We all know the results of that, thanks to Paul VI and his Masonic hatchet man Annibale Bugnini, who trashed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and concocted, along with a Marxist priest Father Joseph Gelineau and six Protestant advisors, a New Order service which not only totally transformed "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven" into a sacrilege, but adopted all that Apostates Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer had called for and more. But then, they too have been compromised thanks to John Paul II's radical ecumenical statement in Ut unum sint,Ch. 2, #42, "consigning to oblivion the excommunications of the past." We didn't know the Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and thousands of other sects had reconciled with Rome. Oh, they didn't. Rather one-sided wouldn't you say? We wonder if the Holy Father consulted with the Doctors of the Church before making such a ridiculous, compromising statement that brings to mind Paul's words in Galatians 1: 10, "For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I did yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
St. Basil had it right. It would be wise to consult more of the good Doctors of the Church on what we should do in the case of the most severe, grave crisis we are in today.
The holy Doctor Saint Robert Bellarmine, the Cardinal who played such a key role in compiling the Catechism of Trent, put the new mass quite in perspective over 400 years before it reared its ugly head when he said,
"When we enter the temples of heretics, where there is nothing except a chair for preaching and a wooden table for making a meal, we feel ourselves to be entering a profane hall and not the house of God."
Yet, it was the modern post-conciliar pontiffs who empowered this profanity. What then are we to do, O holy Doctor? His response, his prescription is quite clear as he wrote in De Romano Pontifice,
"It is permissable to resist the Pope when he invades souls and troubles the commonwealth; and moreover, if he appears to be causing harm to the Church, it is permissable, I say, to resist him by not doing what he enjoins and by preventing his will to triumph."
Perhaps had more Catholics listened and responded to the wisdom of the approved saints who have been elevated by the Church to the highest rank of "Doctor" and whose words, tested over centuries, bear within the infallible, perennial Magisterium of the Church the mark of infallibility, the Church could have averted the grave crisis it finds itself in today in its very moral fabric. Unfortunately, those who thought they knew better never thought of seeking the help so desperately needed. And so, we see it today: one diocese after another dealing with the embarassing scandals, losing even more credibility in trying to explain away the bishops' laxity while more innocent priests are besmirched through guilt by association. Countless souls are jeopardized and one fact stands out: no matter how they spin it, it's only too evident, they've been listening to the wrong doctors!
Michael Cain, editor
April 1, 2002
volume 13, no. 61
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary